Monday, June 17, 2013

Landing On The Sun, 52 Half Marathons In 52 Weeks

On August 20, 2012 I wrote: The next adventure translates to reach the hot, round, and yellow star that is above us. And with that I will secure a special place in the asylum sharing with nuts individuals that will continue doing nothing else than piling more Half Marathons underneath the bed. There will not be any more movements towards anywhere, no other dimensions, no other solar systems, nowhere, just moving around in circles around the star because when I arrive there I will become one of the Masters of the Asylum and I will be fried. 52 Half Marathons in a year... 

Landing On The Sun: 52 Half Marathons in 52 Weeks has become a matter of fact. I can say that I am glad I did it though I hesitated several times on continuing doing it. The major challenge of all was not being at home during the weekends with my hubby, and not having any day to actually sleep in. Though most of the races were in Western Washington and relatively close, just the fact of getting up early, drive, run, drive back, shower, eat, and nap, made the whole weekend day unavailable for anything else. It's done now and I loved ALL the races. I am taking a well deserved 3-month period of not racing. I’ll keep running and I may race only 2 or 3 short races at most before my next Marathon in Ohio (Sep 21). So, if you are encouraged, come and visit. It takes time, but it feels great up here, and HOT!

The greatest thanks to my hubby for his unconditional support. 

Here are the stats for this 52-week cycle which started and finished with the same race: Berry Dairy, in Burlington, WA, from 6/16/12 to 6/15/13.

Stats: 52 Half Marathons in 52 weeks. 46 in Western Washington, 2 in Eastern Washington, 2 in Oregon, 2 in British Columbia, Canada.

Fastest: 1:45:23 – JBLM, Lakewood, WA - Sep 15, 2012
Slowest: 2:08:58 – Lake Sammamish, WA – Mar 09, 2013
Average: 1:55:00

Favorite Race Overall: Capital City, Olympia, WA (tough decision between Capital and North Olympic Discovery, NODM, Port Angeles, WA – didn’t like the profile of the latter).

Favorite Course: Edmonds USRA, Edmonds, WA
Least Favorite Course: Labor Day, Redmond, WA

Favorite Shirt: NODM

Favorite Bling: NODM & Capital City
Favorite Division Award: Seattle, Tacoma City, Capital City, NODM

Hilliest: Edmonds USRA, Edmonds, WA & Round Mountain, Naches, WA
Flattest: First Call (Spring, Presidents & Veterans), Bothell, WA

Most Scenic: NODM  & Round Mountain, Naches, WA

Wettest: Abbotsford, BC, Canada.
Driest: Sage Rat, Sunnyside, WA

Coldest: Veterans Day, Bothell, WA – 11/10/12 – 30F
Hottest: Moon Run, Olympia, WA – 7/7/12 - 84F

Closest: Edmonds, USRA – 7.5 miles – 15 min
Furthest: Helvetia, Hillsboro, OR – 207 miles – 3h 20 min

Hardest: Lake Sammamish, WA (Very sick during that week, 80 hours without food before the race.
Easiest: Edmonds, USRA (definitely, hills is what I like)!

In My Heart: Seattle

Monday, May 27, 2013

Running North, South, East, And West: What Else?

When you are pursuing a specific challenge within a specific time limit, you gotta do what you gotta do. In my case (reaching the sun) means driving around no matter what or where. I am about to finish my 52 Half Marathons in one year, so go figure.

On Sat May 18, I drove to the EAST side of the mountains, 190 miles, 3 hours, accompanied by a friend. The race: Sage Rat, a point to point Half Marathon from Sunnyside to Prosser. As I used to live in this side of the state I felt the nostalgia of the dry country and the well-known vegetation (or lack thereof?) It was a hot day for Seattleites standards and I had nothing but to accommodate the pace to avoid overheating. I learned in the Moon Run race last year how to run in the heat, and it pays off. For the first miles I maintained a comfortable high 9ish pace, and at mile 7 felt acclimated and I was able to push it then. The strategy worked again and I had a very nice negative split (splits below). The finish line was fantastic, a lot of great food, gigantic medals and a cute sage rat medal for division winners. I got second in my age group with  1:58:46.

I drove back immediately after to the WEST side not to home, but to the capital, Olympia. Noteworthy to mention that I was distracted talking to my co-pilot and took I-90 East. Yes, this Goddess of directions (because I am indeed pretty good at it) made a huge mistake and had to drive 26 miles each way to come back to the junction of I-82/I-90W. We laughed and decided to see it as “a couple of marathons” in our way.

We stayed at The Governors hotel and that was the treat of the weekend: Just to slide the balcony door of our room, and we could literally jump to the finish line; so worth it. We picked up the packet, had dinner and went to bed, but the best of all is that I could sleep in till almost race time. Only needed to get up, get ready, and get out of the hotel. How good was that?

The race was fantastic as always, but without rain this year. Last 2 years had been pouring (which I love, BTW). I finished strong with an 1:55:40 and got 3rd in my division, a nice plaque that couldn’t be handled to me right away because they messed up with the bib # and chip, and had me as a Robert, male 51. They promised to mail it.

Following weekend, on Sat May 25, was the turn to drive SOUTH: 180 miles (3 hrs again) to St. Helens, Oregon for Race Against Child Abuse. It was a small local race for a great cause, and again what made it worthy was not the additional race to pile to my stats, but the amazing ladies I met: The Honey Badgers of Oregon. After chatting and getting to know each other, we started together the race as a nice female six-pack (yes, we all look that good too.) The course, designed by some of these ladies was gorgeous. A portion of the course ran by my beloved favorite river in the world, my Columbia River, and then about 4+miles in the woods, in a beautiful mountain setting. Did I mention “mountain”? Yes, we had a 2-mile climb that was absolutely beautiful. We started to spread about mile 4 but seeing the girls in the out and back was great. One of them, Christine, is my age, and she not only got the division, but was the overall female winner with a strong 1:51 in that challenging course.  I ran the course in 1:58:06
The Honey Badgers of Oregon harassing a Washingtonian runner
And on Sun May 26 I drove NORTH to Abbotsford, Canada, for Run for Water, another super awesome Half Marathon, worth, worth of doing, supporting Ethiopia's communities. It was very well organized, great course, amazing volunteers, great medals, and the best food EVER. Chocolate milk, bagels, bananas, oranges, PB, jelly, boiled eggs, the most delicious yogurt with pistachios, other nuts, and fruits; you name it. The race occurred under my favorite weather conditions: 52F, overcast, zero wind, and non-stop rain. I love to run in the rain as you can’t believe. I couldn’t get wetter. I finished 4th place in the division with 1:51:11.

Running North, South, East, And West... What Else?
Well, I did a couple of local races the week prior to the prior (sighs): First Call Bothell (always longer than Half Marathon, I wonder why), and Kirkland's Mother's Day
Race #204: First Call, Bothell, WA - May 11, 2013 - Why Takao Suzuki draws the rainbows further than the Half Point? - 2:01:40 - No splits in Bothell.

Race #205 - Mother's Day - Kirkland, May 12, 2013 - 1:53:57 - Great course as always
1- 9:16
2- 9:00
3- 8:00
4- 9:11
5- 8:15
6- 9:22
7- 9:30
8- 7:24
9- 8:36
10- 8:43
11- 9:18
12- 8:35
13- 8:00
13.1 - 0:42 (7:00)
Race #206: Sage Rat, Sunnyside, WA - May 18, 2013
1- 9:07
2- 9:20
3- 9:36
4- 9:30
5- 9:24
6- 9:36
7- 9:12
8- 9:03
9- 9:03
10- 9:07
11- 8:36
12- 8:14
13- 8:12
13.1- 0:45 (7:39)
Race #207: Capital City, Olympia, WA

1- 8:59
2- 8:54
3- 9:27
4- 9:27
5- 9:13
6- 9:12
7- 8:55
8- 8:52
9- 7:35
10- 8:50
11- 9:08
12- 8:43
13- 7:39
13.1- 0:45 (7:39)
Race #208:  Race Against Child Abuse, St. Helens, OR
1- 8:49
2- 8:32
3- 8:24
4- 8:24 ...
and here comes the 2 mile mountain:
5- 9:55
6- 10:05
8- 8:15
11- 9:02
12- 8:39
13- 9:00
13.1- 0:56
Race # 209: Run For Water – Abbotsford, Canada
Splits in min/Km as it was in K country
1- 5:01
2- 5:02
3- 4:56
4- 4:59
5- 5:08
6- 5:15
7- 5:08
8- 5:13
9- 5:13
10- 5:12
11- 5:24
12- 5:07
13- 5:14
14- 5:23
15- 5:25
16- 5:08
17- 5:14
18- 5:21
19- 5:25
20- 5:35
21- 5:35
21.1 - 0:29 (4:50min/Km)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Most Dramatic Mile And A BQ In Her Pocket

After finishing my 100th HM at Tacoma City and celebrating with many friends my milestone, I went back to the course to mile 25 to cheer on my friends and to pace my dear Maria for the last mile in her Boston Qualifying quest: 3:45. I was frantically texting with our common friend Marie to know where Maria was and how she was doing. Marie told me that she had just run at mile 21 with Maria and that she was ahead of pacer. I was in a corner before the last water station, exact location 25.1 mile. Three young girls are cheering on every single runner. I saw 3:25 pacer running by, texted Marie back and forth, and after I saw the 3:40 pacer I put my phone away.

When the 3:45 pacer was approaching I noticed that Maria was not with him, I started to freak out. Then I saw her may be 5 seconds behind, and told the girls: This is it. Here she comes. The girls started screaming: Go Maria, Maria, you can do it, only one mile to go.  Maria was running with Marc Frommer what gave me great relief.

As soon as we passed the hydration station, Maria stopped and said: I can't do it. I told her "you've gotta go. You can't stop now, only one mile to go”. The pacer was separating from us and he was about 10 seconds ahead now.  I gently put my right hand in her back pushing her, and told her, we gotta keep going. Maria started running again, and 10 seconds later she stopped again saying I can't do it. I replied: YOU MUST do it. I pushed her again now not so gently and she kept going. I told her as soon we turned around the corner this slight uphill is gone, then will be flat till mile 26, and the last .2 are downhill. We turned into Pacific and about mile 25.6 Maria started to slow down. The pacer is now about 20 seconds away.  I understand distance and velocity well, and I knew that we still had chance to press on to reach the pacer, but seconds were golden and we couldn’t afford to lose any of them. I pushed her again literally with my hands on her back, she accelerated and yelled at me: NO ME TOQUES !!! (DON'T TOUCH ME in Spanish); I yelled back, "Fine, I won't touch you but you must keep going." Marc was on my left, Maria on my right and to avoid touching her I moved to the left to leave Marc in the middle. She goes, sorry Lizzie. I told her: don't worry HATE ME today, hate me if you want to, puke if you have to, but you can’t slow down. We need to pass the pacer, we are getting close." I totally knew and understood what was at stake, I knew the regret if missing it by a matter of seconds, and I knew that she had the guts to push the pace, so I could care less that she had yelled at me...Then, we passed the pacer, Maria moved to the middle, and I think this moment was huge because that gave her the confidence she needed (somebody captured this moment with a great photo).
After passing the pacer
We were now about mile 25.9 and I told her, "see the cop's car? That’s mile 26, the rest is an awesome downhill". We turned around the corner, and when we had the clock in front of us I wanted to get Maria focused only on the clock. I knew that with that she would have all the adrenaline that she needed to cross the finish line with a BQ. I told her "Maria, look at the clock, look at the clock, keep your eyes on the clock".

Look at the clock, look at the clock

Maria, look at the clock

Keep your eyes on the clock
Then I told her "YOU GOT THIS" and I stepped aside to avoid crossing the mat.
You got it Maria, YOU GOT THIS
She sees the clock and she knows she's got it
 She beautifully crossed the finish line at 3:44:41. A Dramatic Mile And A BQ In Her Pocket.
The most beautiful expression.
I asked her: Can I touch now? And she said: YOU CAN TOUCH ME ALL YOU WANT!!!

Friday, May 10, 2013

100 Half Marathons Along The Road

When I started this running “business” pretty much with my first marathon in Seattle in 2007, I liked it so much that I decided to run one marathon per year (WOW!). Loyal to my commitment I ran Seattle again in Nov 2008. As I was ready with air tickets in hand, luggage packed, a furnished apartment, and a car to start a new work adventure in beautiful Italy for the next year I put my eyes on Rome Marathon on Mar/22/2009 to be my 3rd marathon. Then, life hit me hard. Luggage was unpacked; tickets, apartment, and car were returned. My own illness plus the terrible loss of one of the most important persons in my life, the father of my children, all happening at the same time reshuffled my whole being.

After the main treatment was over and I was able to cope with the loss, I started thinking back on running a race. After much thought I got inclined to work more for speed than for endurance. I dedicated to run 5K and 10K; a bunch of them. I unleashed myself and ran 24 races in 8 months. By the end of summer I decided to run something not so short, but not as long as a marathon. I discovered the half distance, and registered for Seattle Half Marathon 2009. My first.

41 months later, May 2013, I have run my 100th.  It was a feast for me; a running and numeric feast; a milestone. And it was no coincidence that my 100th Half Marathon was run at Tacoma City: a Maniac/Fanatic centric race because the Half Fanatics Club was pivotal to reach this goal. It motivated me to run more finding my own limits. It was only a year ago when I ran my first back to back (Saturday and Sunday), now I do it all the time. Every race in the calendar means seeing friends and new faces, and the new faces become friends, and the friendships become magical.

Tacoma City was inundated this weekend with MM and HF from all over the country. It was a whole weekend of festivities celebrating the 10th anniversary of Marathon Maniacs. Starting with the Ghost of Tacoma Marathon and Half Marathon on Saturday (my 99th HM), followed by a day at the Expo at the Hotel Murano, girls times with good friends, raffles as a pre-stage for the 2012 awards and pasta dinner (let’s not talk about this). I got 2012 Half Fanatic of the year 5th place, a pretty trophy engraved with my name and HF # 881. On Sunday the real deal happened. MM and HM departed our way to run an awesome race (HOT) but awesome. For the Silver Striders of Washington is was the last race of the Grand Prix Series.

After I finished my 100th Half Marathon, which I struggled a lot because let me repeat: it was HOT, I celebrated with friends at the finish line. I went to mile 25 to cheer on my marathon friends and to pace a dear friend that was running to qualify for Boston 2014. This particular pacing deserves a blog entry of its own (coming soon). It was exciting to be now not a runner but part of the crowd and to encourage all runners with the terrible sound of: Only one mile to go! (If I don’t know how hard that last mile is.)

I always ask Prez (Steven Yee): Did you guys ever imagine this MM/HF explosion? The answer is always no, but I will continue asking so they can savor the good they have done for running, not only in Washington State but in the US.  The beauty of the Half Fanatics Club and the Marathon Maniacs is that are all inclusive. It is for all kind of runners, you don’t have to be elite, fast, or under certain range of speed, or age. You just have to want to be part of the community, run like a maniac, and voila, you are in. Sorry, yes, you have to run like a maniac. I heard once some runners in Green Lake criticizing the club because it was a matter of “quantity” not quality. Those are the runners that believe the track belongs only to the under 6 min/mile runners.

There is no major quality for me that what I have experienced during these 41 months. The amazing friends I have met during my 100 Half Marathons Along The Road.

Lizzie Lee 100th Half Marathon

2013 Ghost of Tacoma Half Marathon and Marathon
Splits details of races #201 (98th ,HM), #202 (99th,HM), #203 (100th  HM)

Race #201 – Heroes Half Marathon – Everett, WA – Apr 28, 2013 – 1:51:47 – 8:32 min/mile – 2nd place

1- 8:59
2- 8:52
3- 8:21
4- 8:18
5- 8:29
6- 9:24
7- 7:45
8- 8:40
9- 9:00
10- 8:44
11- 7:58
12- 8:12
13.1- 8:12
Race #202 – Ghost of Tacoma – Tacoma, WA – May 04, 2013 – 1:50:24 – 8:26 min/mile

1st Half 57:08
2nd Half 58:34
Race # 203 – Tacoma City Half Marathon – 100th – Tacoma, WA – May 05, 2013 - 1 :55:38 – 8:50 min/mile

1- 8:35
2- 8:26
3- 8:49
4- 8:52
5- 8:28
6- 8:58
7- 8:48
8- 8:37
9- 9:03
10- 8:35
11- 9:05
12- 8:56
13- 8:46
13.1 – 0:42 (7:00)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Boston Marathon: Ordeal At The Finish Line

This story should have been about a 56 yo female from the Pacific North West, a common runner running the race of her life, the most prestigious marathon in the world.

It should have been a story about a red-eye coast to coast trip, a marathon expo, marathon gear as a badge of honor, settling at a pretty brownstone building, carboloading, bus loading, bus bonding, pre-race jitters, athlete village, meeting friends, happy pictures, porta-potties, start line.

It should have been about the physical, mental, and emotional experience of every single mile throughout a 26.2-mile course; about the connection with the crowd, and about every mile split. 

It should have been the story about crossing the finish line and kissing the ground of another conquered state on my 50-state quest. 

But it is not that story. 

It is the story of horror and ordeal that started when I turned into Hereford and heard a huge blast. I immediately thought it was a bomb but looked at the fans to find some cues in their faces but they kept cheering on. Then I heard the second explosion, I couldn’t focus on the race anymore, I was trying to understand what was going on. I saw confused faces and the crowd looking and walking in all directions. I turned into Boylston and saw the smoke by the finish line. I slowed down and when I by mile 26 I stopped, the police was coming running toward us to stop us and protect us. Complete chaos. I couldn’t react. I felt on my knees and started crying. The only image that came to me was my daughter being blown up while waiting for me at the finish line. She bought her airplane ticket back in October to be with me for the race. She cancelled her trip at the last minute to stay in Venezuela to vote in April 14th presidential elections. She would have been there on that side of the street because I always run on the left side. She would have been there. She would have been there. Then I thought of my mom who should be in Copley Place, the building right behind the Public Library where the finish line was. Then thought of me running by the areas where the explosions happened, I was 3:20 minutes away from the first blast, and 2:30 minutes from the second, but the recurring thought was my daughter standing at the side of the street by the finish line waiting for me. And at this very minute, that is still the picture that comes to my mind. I can’t let go.

A lady that saw my distress offered me her vest. I was wet, it was 51F, very windy, and overcast. She also helped me to contact my husband and son. She dialed for me, I was shaking. She could communicate right away as only minutes have passed since the explosions. The police cars haven't even arrived yet to the scene. They did when my husband’s call went through, he said “congratulations sweetie”. I told him “No, No…. There were two bombs. Two bombs exploded by the finish line. I am OK. Please, call Diego (my son) and tell him to call my mom to stay where she is. I will go and get her.”

Police directed me and other runners to the medical tent that was right there. I was shivering, they ran out of blankets but gave me a cotton sheet that did the job. Two men were lying down on cots, two other were being helped, two girls were sharing a wool blanket. I shared the cot with one of them who asked me if I spoke Spanish. She happened to be from Caracas, Venezuela, city where I was born and raised. She was crying thinking of her family, boyfriend, and friends who would not know if she was OK. She mentioned where she was staying and I told her not to worry that I would help her to get back to her apartment in Beacon St. when things were clearer. I learned that she was member of the VO2Max team in Caracas, where one of my very good friends runs. I told her that as soon as we found a phone I would communicate with my son for him to send a message to our common running friend. About 5 minutes later the police evacuated us from the medical tent in Boylston and told us to move toward Dalton. We moved to the corner of Dalton and Boylston and we sat on the sidewalk by The Capital Grill. The medical personnel gave me a very thick wool blanket that one of the runners let on a cot. I was very wet and I needed to avoid getting Raynaud, a disorder that when getting cold, narrows the blood vessels in my fingers hindering blood of getting to the surface of the skin and turning the skin white and blue.

A couple of girls, Kathryn and Macie, were passing by and I asked them if they could help us to make some phone calls. I was very concern about my mom and the evacuations. She is 84, doesn’t speak English, and I knew she would not be able to go back home by herself. From that moment on the girls stayed with us and told me they would not leave me until I reunite with my mom. Not too long after, the police evacuated us from Dalton, mentioning that there was possibility of more devices. We entered in the Sheraton Hotel and sat on the floor at the lobby. The lobby was packed with runners and bystanders. Sheraton’s personnel were amazing, providing us with water and warm towels to cover ourselves. We still had no information on what was the magnitude of the tragedy. I presumed that people had been killed. Cell lines collapsed; it was impossible to communicate with anybody. I lost track of time. Kathryn and Macie where constantly dialing my son’s and mom’s cell numbers saying “everything is OK. Your mom is OK.” The comfort that they provided during those hours was priceless and I will forever thank them for their kindness. The Venezuelan girl saw somebody known at the lobby and she went with him. Then we learned that 2 people had been killed and there were dozens of injured. I was in shock, I couldn’t react and I felt like a zombie. I broke again. I let the girls resolve and make the decisions on what to do and when and where to go. I wasn’t capable of even thinking. They finally got a hold of my mom, and she told us the exact location where she was at Copley Place. I told her not to move that we were on our way. The plan was to cross to Prudential Center and Copley via the Sheraton sky bridge, but when we got to Prudential they had just closed the bridge to Copley and we couldn’t go through. We needed to go through the street, but at our attempt to leave Prudential, all buildings were on locked down and nobody could get in or out. As soon as they lifted the lock down we walked to Copley through alternate streets as the main streets were closed. When we got to Copley Place this was being evacuated, and my mom was not where she had been. I started looking on the street and finally saw her at the sidewalk almost 2.5 hours after the attacks. The girls and I had tears in our eyes. Kathryn and Macie, immense thanks for all your help and kindness. God bless you. 

From there my mom and I went to try to recover my bag. I needed my phone. We walked about 0.3 miles to get to where the bags were placed. The area looked like a war zone. No smiles but tears, no happiness but sadness. We runners looked like refugees walking wrapped on blankets, with our heads down on isolated streets. The Boston Athletic Association, BAA, off loaded the buses and placed the bags on a nearby street. With all the chaos and street closures, BAA kept the organization to the highest levels. Once I recovered my bag we walked home, 0.4 miles away.

What came in the aftermath of the explosions were dead and destruction. Three young and beautiful souls were killed: Martin Richard, 8; Lingzi Lu, 23; and Krystle Marie Campbell, 29. 180 injured, amputations, people in critical and serious conditions, sadness, anxiety, vigils, prayers, and memorials for the victims and their families, 24/7 sirens, police, bomb squads all over the city, bonding with the runners and the city of Boston, healing, unity, strength, and determination.The marathon jacket , that "badge of honor" became a special symbol in the somber city. We runners looked at each other, nodded our heads, and shared a sad smile.

On Thursday, the interfaith service at the Holy Cross Cathedral, 4 blocks behind the apartment where I was staying, provided me some closure. Thousands of people gathered to comfort each other. We were one. Boston was one. I felt that, even with the suspects still on the run, the commotion was about to be over and the people were ready to start the healing process. Until midnight.

I woke up at midnight due to endless sirens; one after another, after another, for more than half hour. Instead of turning the TV on I texted my husband and son: “Tons of sirens.” My Hubby encouraged me to go back to sleep, but my son texted back: “Because a cop was killed in Cambridge. A gunman killed him at the MIT campus... Multiple shots and explosions in Watertown.” My mom and I had been in Watertown on Wednesday night having dinner at the home of a very close friend from my teen years. TV was on for the next 20 hours. The city of Boston and its suburbs were on locked down. Metro and taxi services were suspended. All businesses were closed. The manhunt in Watertown became the center of our world. The rest is history. 

I wholeheartedly share the words of our president during the interfaith service on Thu 4/18: Our faith in each other, our love for each other, our love for country, our common creed that cuts across whatever superficial differences there may be -- that is our power. That’s our strength… That’s why a bomb can’t beat us. That’s why we don’t hunker down. That’s why we don’t cower in fear. We carry on. We race. We strive. We build, and we work, and we love -- and we raise our kids to do the same. And we come together to celebrate life, and to walk our cities, and to cheer for our teams… And this time next year, on the third Monday in April, the world will return to this great American city to run harder than ever, and to cheer even louder, for the 118th Boston Marathon. Bet on it. Tomorrow, the sun will rise over Boston. Tomorrow, the sun will rise over this country that we love. This special place. This state of grace. 

My dear running partner Michelle texted me on the day of the events: “Who would’ve thought that your daughter would have been safer today in Venezuela than in Boston.” True. That may have been providential, and although I am extremely sad I have no fears. 

All marathons leave special marks, but this particular edition of the Boston Marathon, the 117th, will be indelible. I will work hard to come back in 2014 to run this great city of Boston, city that has been carved in my heart and in my soul forever. 

And my daughter will be there at the finish line waiting for me. 
Thanks to all that were concerned for my well-being and my mom’s. All my love.

lizzie lee

Friday, April 12, 2013

And 3, 2, 1, And Boston Is Around The Corner

Tapering went well though I would've loved to have more rest during this last week. I had more work that I could chew and have to spend 12 hours a day to get a lot of things done. Good I was not running much so no needed my regular 10-11 hours of sleep.

I ran a race 2 weeks before and it was my race #199 - Cupcake Half Marathon in Arlington, WA - Mar 30, 2013 - 1:55:36 (8:49 min/mile). The goal  was to run at the pace I plan for Boston (8:49) and I succeeded on that. I ran the run with a friend and we talked all the way. I never talk while I run a race but I felt very comfortable doing it this time. 

The following week I bailed on the race I had planned Birch Bay 15K. It was the perfect distance for the week prior to the marathon but I wanted to spend the weekend with my Hubby and I not have to get up early to drive a considerable distance. I didn't regret. It happened to be a warm and sunny day in Seattle which was spent playing very carefully in our yards. And without planning it Boston will become my race #200.

So the time is here and now. I'll be flying tonight for THE marathon that I never thought I would ever run. And with jitters, enthusiasm, and joy I hope to have the race of my life. I don't use to dedicate races much, but I thought that I could give thanks to some people that one way or another have contributed positively in my running "career". To them some of the miles. The rest, well... I need to focus!!!

  • Mile 1 to Mary Yuliet Yanez. The first time I ever went for a jog was with her in 1997
  • Mile 2 to Julio Navarro, thefirst coach that taught me how to do intervals and invited me to my first ever race, a 12K – 1997
  • Mile 5 to Michelle Barnes, because rain or shine we get up early to run 5 miles together, and because of her I learned how to run for fun and not because I have to.
  • Mile 7 to Craig, Chris, Kevin, Charlie, Shirley, because in 2007 I met these running  folks in the blogging world on my route to my first marathon
  • Mile 10 to Bart Yasso because the TEN 800s is the hardest workout I've ever done, and they have improved considerably my speed and understanding of pace.
  • Mile 12 to my Sole Sisters Jessica, Marie, Kristen, Kris, Ginger, Maryanne… Because we were twelve. Includes two good men: John and Tony.
  • Mile 13.1 to Angie Brionez because 13.1 is the distance that brought us together.
  • Mile 17 to Petra Duguid because at her mile 17 in Berlin and at my mile 17 in St. George we were about to quit the race and DNF.  Then we put our acts together and we not only finished, we got our BQ.
  • Mile 21 to my Washington State running peeps, because this will be Heartbreak Hill mile and we hell know how to run hills.
  • Mile 22 to my adorable husband Randy, because without his TOTAL support my running would have not been possible.
  • Mile 23 to my son David because someday he will have to put up with me at least in Colorado.
  • Mile 24 to my son Diego because he is there waiting for me at the end of a race every time he can.
  • Mile 25 to my daughter Alejandra because she brought me to the marathon world, and I would have never done it if we would have not run alone but together.
  • Mile 26.2 It's
    mine. And when I see “one mile to go” on the ground I will soak myself in the experience of the final stretch and be forever thankful for the opportunity.